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May 8, 2014 | 12:00 a.m. CST
Ashley Hall’s many talents are strewn about her small studio.
It’s there that she takes the bits and bobs gathered while thrifting and turns them into jewelry for her company, Dollhead Accessories. The name was inspired by the days when Hall’s only mannequin was a Barbie Styling Head, which she luckily left behind long ago.
Hall is always trying to get her next fix by buying new arts-and-crafts books. Enlightened Polymer Clay and Junk-Box Jewelry are recent additions to her collection. The books spark her work in various mediums, which include painting, photography and jewelry making.
“People are always asking when I’m going to start painting again, or when I’m going to start doing this or that again,” Hall says. “I don’t know; I like to float.”
Hall spends most of her time making jewelry. Laying out pieces with her gathered beads and ephemera, she works on six to ten items at a time whenever inspiration strikes.
Earrings, necklaces and other accessories are put together using scraps of old dresses, pastel shavings, broken jewelry, painted elements and metalwork. Each is a testament to Hall’s attitude toward the odds and ends that others often overlook.
“I like novelty,” Hall says. “I guess it kind of breaks my heart to just throw things out.”
Hall has been painting since she was a child. In kindergarten, she would try to paint along with Bob Ross using her own watercolor set. Now canvases hang in her studio, including one that Hall says she only realized looked like flaming deviled eggs after completion.
Perched in a vise on Hall’s worktable is a clock made from a vinyl record. Creating it was simple for Hall. “I had the clock mechanism, and I had the record,” Hall says. “I was like, ‘These guys need to meet.’”
Hall made cupcakes instead of a layer cake for her wedding and used stands to hold them all. She gathered plates, glasses and candlesticks from thrift stores and coated them in ceramic paint before assembling the pieces for the big day. Now the stands hold craft supplies around Hall’s studio and acts as a good reminder of her wedding.